Partner 2: University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences, School of Cellular and Molecular Biology

The Stem Cell Biology Group in the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine is focused on translation research in stem cell biology and tissue engineering. It is studying the fundamental biology of stem cells in order to increase understanding of how they function. The group is also investigating mechanisms of engineering cartilage from stem cells and developing specific assays for monitoring the quality of tissue engineering in vitro and in vivo.

Bristol University has been at the forefront of cartilage tissue engineering for many years. The group led a project for the tissue engineering of a tracheal segment that was successfully implanted into a patient in Spain. It has developed methods of cartilage tissue engineering from chondrocytes and stem cells and specific immuoassays for fibrillar collagens that can be used to determine the degree to which a new tissue is made up of hyaline or fibrocartilage. Observations made under previous EU-funding have led to the concept of monitoring type III collagen as a new marker of the maturity of engineered cartilage.

Role in the project: The University of Bristol will be primarily concerned with developing release criteria that will be defined for the transplant. Validated protocols will be transferred to Partner 7, Holostem, and implemented in the manufacturing process for clinical studies.